PRESS RELEASE

July 8, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Keva D. Muller
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
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340-778-6360 ext. 4154
340-244-2744 

Nicole Parson
VP Of United Jazz Foundation
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646-725-3353

 

THE VIRGIN ISLANDS PERFORMING ARTS CULTURAL CONNECTION (VIPACC)

presents

FREE COMMUNITY CONCERTS

July 11-13, 2024

DION PARSON QUARTET

featuring
Charenée Wade

 

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The Virgin Islands Performing Arts Cultural Connection (VIPACC) is pleased to announce its Free Community Concerts on all three islands July 11-13, 2024. The Dion Parson Quartet, featuring Charanée Wade will grace stages at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, St. John School of the Arts, and St. Thomas Social for the third installment of performances under the VIPACC.

The evenings’ ensemble is composed of five musicians: Vocalist Charenée Wade, Sherwin Williams on Saxophone, Richard Johnson on Piano, Uriel Rogers on Bass and Dion Parson on Drums. 

PERFORMANCES:

Thursday, July 11, 2024 | 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
ST. CROIX - The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, CMCArts
The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts - www.cmcarts.org
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Friday, July 12, 2024 | 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
ST. JOHN - St. John School of the Arts
St. John School of the Arts - www.stjohnschoolofthearts.org,
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St. John only: Art Show by Aubrey Artworks
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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
ST. THOMAS - St. Thomas Social, Yacht Haven Grande
United Jazz Foundation – www.unitedjazz.org
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE ARTISTS:

Charenée Wade

Charenée Wade is a singer, composer, arranger, educator, and professor at the Aaron Copland School at Queens College and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, MD.

Wade is a Brooklyn native who began singing at age 12 and fell under the spell of Sarah Vaughan. She attended LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and earned her music degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Wade is well known for her expert vocal improvisational ability and seriously swinging groove. This remarkable debut proves why she is one of the most exciting, distinctive, and bold young musical talents on the rise today.

Wade evokes a classic jazz sound akin to Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan, two of her musical touchstones. With her Motéma debut, offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (June 23), she pays tribute to another inspiration, the socially conscious poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, and confirms that she plans to use her artist platform thoughtfully.

Produced by Grammy-nominated music industry veteran and Sirius XM personality Mark Ruffin, the recording features notable guest stars and a stellar band comprised of Brandon McCune on piano, Dave Stryker on guitar, Lonnie Plaxico on bass, and Alvester Garnett on drums. Wade's labelmate, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, sits in on "Essex/Martin," as does Marcus Miller on bass clarinet and actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner on spoken word. Another spoken word guest is bassist Christian McBride, who opens "Peace Go With You Brother." The great vibes player Stefon Harris is featured on six selections. Wade's first international release follows the recent publication of a biography on Scott-Heron by Marcus Baram called "Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of A Man."

The entire jazz industry has passionately embraced Wade, including Wynton Marsalis, who features her regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC); Christian McBride, who mentored her at his Jazz Aspen Academy; and labelmate Rufus Reid, who selected her for his Grammy-nominated album, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project.

Following the Monk competition in 2010, she self-released Love Walked In, earning her the NPR Song Travels feature. With Offering, Wade continues walking in love and using her art to raise our consciousness!

 

Dion Parson

Dion Parson is an educator, composer, and one of New York’s finest, GRAMMY-award-winning drummers. Born on June 11, 1967 on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, Parson’s musical foundation ranges from classical, reggae, calypso, jazz, African, and pop music. Parson attended Rutgers University in New Jersey where he studied percussion with Keith Copeland and William Moersch. He received a BM in Music Education in 1990 and his Masters in Jazz Performance in 2012. Parson also studied with master drummer Michael Carvin who remains his mentor.

Parson moved to New York in 1990, where he quickly became part of the jazz scene, playing with a variety of artists, including such greats as Milt Jackson, Monty Alexander, Ernest Ranglin, Jon Faddis, Steve Turre, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Geri Allen, Ray Anderson, Lee Konitz, Dianne Reeves, Wycliffe Gordon, Cyrus Chestnut and Elio Villafranca. Parson has performed globally in Asia, Europe, Canada, the West Indies, Africa, and the Middle East. He has also recorded for several major labels, including Columbia, Sony, Gramavision, Arabesque, Blue Note, High Five, Verve, Enja, Koch Records, and Concord Records. Parson is the leader of the Dion Parson & 21st Century Band, and he has released 6 recordings with his band.

Parson has taught at several educational facilities, to include Rutgers University, Harlem School of the Arts (NY), Cheyney University (PA), New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Jazz for Teens program, Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney Maine, the Conservatory of Amsterdam (Netherlands), and he currently serves as the Chair of the Communication and Performing Arts Department at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Always passionate in giving back to his community, in 2009 Parson founded the program “Mentoring Through the Arts of Music”, under the auspices of United Jazz Foundation, of which he is President. United Jazz Foundation (UJF) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to identify, educate, and mentor students who aspire to pursue a career in music, as well as developing program curriculum (Pre-K through High School) which consists of performance activities and experiences through music.

Dion Parson endorses Ludwig Drums, Dream Cymbals, Evens Drumheads, Reunion Blues – Quality gig-bags and cases and Promark drumsticks.

 

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VIPACC Presents Free Community Concerts July 11-13 Dion Parson Quartet Featuring Charenée Wade

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